Int'l FA Board To Evaluate Proposals Including One To Scrap 45-Minute Halves
A proposal to "scrap 45-minute halves is to be looked at by football's lawmakers to deter time-wasting," according to Mandeep Sanghera of the BBC. Instead, there could be "two periods of 30 minutes with the clock stopped whenever the ball goes out of play." The Int'l FA Board said that matches only see about 60 minutes of "effective playing time" out of 90. The idea is "one of several put forward in a new strategy document" designed to address football's "negativities." Another proposal "would see players not being allowed to follow up and score if a penalty is saved" -- if the spot kick "is not successful," play would stop and a goal kick would be awarded (BBC, 6/18). The London TELEGRAPH reported the IFAB said that the Fair Play! document has three aims -- to improve player behavior and "increase respect, to increase playing time and to increase fairness and attractiveness." The IFAB said in the document, "The strategy proposes measures to reduce time-wasting and 'speed up' the game." IFAB said that some of the proposals "could be implemented immediately and require no law changes," while some are "ready for testing/experiments" and others are "for discussion." Other ideas up "for discussion" include referees only blowing for halftime or full-time when the ball goes out of play, "and a penalty kick being either scored or missed/saved, with players not allowed to follow up to score, in order to stop encroachment into the penalty area" (TELEGRAPH, 6/17).
'QUIET REVOLUTION': In London, Martyn Ziegler reported a proposal for penalty goals to be awarded for handballs on the line "is also in the document" which was produced by IFAB Technical Dir David Elleray. He said, "It is a radical document. You could say that it is a quiet revolution aimed at getting football even better. My starting point was to look at the laws and say, 'What are they for?' And if there is no particular reason then would changing them make the game better?" More "extreme ideas" contained in the document would see points docked from teams whose players "mob referees," and to change the timing of a match from 90 minutes to 60 minutes of "effective playing time" where the clock would be stopped every time the ball goes out of play (LONDON TIMES, 6/17).